the staff of the Ridgewood blog
East Rutherford NJ, The transit crisis that stranded fans attending WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium this weekend threatens the success of future events, including the World Cup, the American Dream complex and other potentially-lucrative events, such as future Super Bowls and WrestleManias, Senator Paul Sarlo said today.
Senator Sarlo, the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said that the two and three hour delays experienced by people leaving the popular World Wrestling event underscores the need for NJ Transit to “complete the loop” from Meadowlands Station to Secaucus Junction.
“The transit line to Meadowlands Station is now like a one-way street that goes to a dead end,” said Senator Sarlo, referring to the single-track service that currently accommodates only one train at a time at the Meadowlands Station. The single-track design requires a train stopped at Meadowlands Station to back out on the same track it came in on, which prevents another train from reaching Meadowlands Station until the first train clears the track.
“The system becomes all but paralyzed if there are any scheduling changes, equipment problems or heavy passenger use – and we want to have heavy passenger use to ensure the success of large-scale events,” said Senator Sarlo. “The only way to really correct this problem is to complete the loop so that trains stopping at Meadowlands Station can travel forward to Secaucus Junction and allow additional trains to reach Meadowlands Station much more frequently.”
Because there is no direct service to MetLife Stadium from Penn Station New York, people trying to reach the stadium have to take trains to Secaucus Junction and then transfer to Meadowlands-bound trains.
“MetLife is still living with the unwanted legacy of the chaotic delays following the 2014 Super Bowl,” said Senator Sarlo. “It’s more than embarrassing for New Jersey – it sends a bad message that imperils our ability to attract and retain the sports and entertainment events that deliver economic benefits. We should make use of the refortified Transportation Trust Fund if we have to – that’s what the fund is there for.”
WrestleMania drew a large number of fans from around the globe for a weeklong series of events spread across North Jersey and New York City, generating millions in economic activity.